Parc national de Somawathiya

La description

Located in the North Central region of Sri Lanka, approximately 260 kilometers from Colombo, Somawathiya National Park is a captivating wilderness spread across an area of 376.45 square kilometers. Established as a national park in 1986, it is dedicated to preserving the unique riverine 'Villus' and lush flood plains, making it a haven for a diverse array of flora and fauna. This national park holds a special place for wildlife enthusiasts, history enthusiasts, and pilgrims alike due to its significance as a sanctuary, historical treasure, and religious site. In this article, we will explore the wonders of Somawathiya National Park, its rich biodiversity, and the best time to experience its marvels.

Plus de détails

A Home for Majestic Elephants

One of the primary reasons Somawathiya National Park stands out is the large concentration of elephants residing within its boundaries. Approximately 400 elephants are estimated to call this park their home, making it the largest elephant gathering in Sri Lanka. Witnessing these gentle giants roaming freely amidst the scenic landscape is a truly unforgettable sight.

Abundant Birdlife

The park is not only famous for its elephants but also for its rich avifauna. More than 75 migratory bird species, including painted storks, purple coots, egrets, and herons, make the marshes of the flood plains their winter residence. Birdwatchers will be delighted to observe these winged beauties in their natural habitat.

Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Somawathiya National Park's rich biodiversity is attributed to its fertile alluvial soil, which supports a diverse range of flora and fauna. The central flood plains host water-tolerant grasses and aquatic plants, while the drier northern region is dominated by dry zone forest trees. The distribution of floral species is influenced by the flood patterns and the depth of flooding, contributing to the park's unique ecosystem.

The Magnificent Mahaweli River

Situated within the deltaic flood plains of the Mahaweli River, Somawathiya National Park is an integral part of the river's wetland system. The park is characterized by numerous Villus, small basins of water, and old river channels, adding to the enchanting landscape. Notably, it is at this park that the Mahaweli River branches into the Mahaweli branch and the Verugal oya, making it a significant natural junction.

Historical and Spiritual Significance

Steeped in history, the park is renowned for the Somawathiya Chetiya, a stupa dating back to 200 BC. It is named after Princess Somawathi, sister of King Kavantissa, and was built by her husband, Prince Abhaya. The stupa is believed to enshrine a tooth relic of Lord Buddha, which was brought to Sri Lanka by Arahat Mahinda Thero. Due to its historical and religious importance, the stupa attracts both tourists and pilgrims seeking spiritual solace and marveling at its famed miracles.

Meilleur moment pour visiter

Somawathiya National Park offers something unique throughout the year. The best time to witness elephants and birdlife in abundance is during the north-east monsoon, from October to January. On the other hand, the dry weather from May to September provides favorable conditions for wildlife sightings. However, the park's diverse offerings make it a suitable destination to visit all year round, with different animals to observe during each season.

Somawathiya National Park Ticket Prices

If you're planning a visit to the picturesque Somawathiya National Park in Sri Lanka, here are the ticket prices for daytime visits:

  • Foreign Adult: $12 U.S.
  • Foreign Child: $6 U.S.
  • SAARC Countries Adult: $10 U.S.
  • SAARC Countries Child: $5 U.S.

Please note that these ticket prices are for daytime visits to the park and do not include the cost of a safari jeep. If you wish to explore the park on a safari, there will be an additional cost for the safari jeep.

somawathiya National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. It offers a chance to witness a diverse range of flora and fauna, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and a variety of bird species. The park's serene beauty and abundance of wildlife make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature. So, grab your tickets, hop on a safari jeep, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Sri Lanka's wilderness!

Comment atteindre

The town of Sungawila marks the last stop and border village on the route to Somawathiya National Park. After Sungawila, visitors will reach the park's entrance. The park can be accessed from both Polonnaruwa and Minneriya. From Minneriya, travelers pass through Higurakgoda town to reach Sungawila. From Polonnaruwa, one needs to turn at the Hospital Junction, located between Polonnaruwa and Kaduruwela towns. The distance to the stupa from both Minneriya and Polonnaruwa is approximately 40 kilometers.

Somawathiya National Park stands as a testament to Sri Lanka's natural and cultural heritage. From the grandeur of its elephants to the charm of its avifauna and the allure of its historical stupa, the park offers an enriching experience for every visitor. Embrace the tranquility of its flood plains, connect with the abundance of wildlife, and bask in the aura of spirituality. A journey to Somawathiya National Park promises to be a mesmerizing adventure that will leave lasting memories.



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